Sustainable packaging isn’t just a green thing. It’s no longer even a political thing. Today, delivering your products in a package that’s eco-friendly is much more of a business survival thing.

Don’t believe it? Well, do you really think McDonald’s would commit to having 100% renewable and recyclable packaging by 2025 if it didn’t make long-term business sense? Not a chance.

What McDonald’s knows, along with an ever-growing number of packaged goods brands, retail companies and even delivery services is this: Sustainable packaging drives purchasing decisions and builds brand loyalty. And the price of not responding to customer expectations is much, much higher than the cost of converting how you package and present your products.

Luckily for us all, packaging technology is evolving as fast as consumer trends are developing, and so is the price point. It’s now surprisingly affordable to switch to options that are more sustainable. Combining advancements in materials with creative models for reuse will not only endear your brand to consumers, but it can also provide new opportunities in shipping and display efficiencies, alternate ways to market and promote your products and even an eventual reduction in manufacturing cost.

And truthfully, you probably already know most of that. But what you may not know is how to make the move to sustainable packaging. Here are three of the most important considerations when it comes to the health of your brand:

1.     Step in slowly, don’t leap. Changing your packaging, your displays or your shipping structures is complicated even without environmental considerations. It can be downright terrifying with them. Plus, you’ll need front-end buy-in from distribution and supply chain managers. So start small and make sure you have an expert by your side who can guide you through the process. You could create more problems than you’ll solve by making a complete conversion all at once.

2.     Now is the time for a redesign. Take advantage of the new production opportunities your alternate packaging can provide. Make sure your brand reflects the forward-thinking steps you’ve taken. Simply sniping your package with a new and improved message won’t cut it.

3.     Rethink your product. Why not go for the one-two punch of sustainable product and eco-friendly packaging? Reduce manufacturing waste, incorporate reusable elements and shift to safer raw materials. If you can make a true commitment without infringing on the quality of your product, you’ll have a chance to make an even stronger connection with your consumers.

Naturally, you can’t break down a decision this big into a handful of soundbites. Product safety and security, materials compatibility, shipping considerations and a dozen other factors all belong in the equation. But the longer you wait to get started, the greater the chance that your customer will move on to a brand that didn’t.